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August 08, 2007


The admiral doth protest too much, methinks.

Mike McConnell,

got his marching (or sailing) orders from the White House. No need to apply any more pressure after that.

Not for a "good troop."

DNI (McConnell's) position was always expressed in S.1927. (and before that, in the mid-April 66 pager)

Rather than sell the statutory language directly, he attempted to "soft sell" it as something less intrusive than it is, where the "soft sell" came in the form of a letter (Aug 1, IIRC). That "soft sell" letter was taken as an alternative proposal, and the DEMs crafted statutory language to reflect the contents of the "soft sell" letter. I think the House debate cites specific passages in that letter.

IOW, I don't think McConnell changed his position - he just mislead about what he needed, and that is the power to acquire all international communications, including those where one of the communicants is in the United States

If it is as you surmise, the long hand of Cheney rejected the FISA bill version that contained what McConnell needed, how does the McConnell claim

"he never felt direct pressure from the White House to reject the Democratic proposal, and that contrary to statements from senior Democrats he had never given a verbal commitment to their plan."

provide him with the wiggle room he needs so that he is later not revealed as a liar? Does the qualifier "direct" give him enough room?

Shouldn't we be hearing from Reyes about now?

Posted by: cboldt | August 08, 2007 at 12:00 links?

Links later (I don't have them handy) - have an urgent chore to tend to ... sorry about that.

THanks for the links, when you get them, cboldt.

I'm wondering, did those include the expansion to anyone, regardless of affiliation with Al Qaeda?

'...FWIW, Mazzetti has several unnamed officials claiming that waterboarding is off the list...'

Deadeye told 'em to just stop using a board and jest hold 'em by their feet and dunk 'em in the pool. As Junya tells it: "We don't do torture. We...ahmmm...we jest teachin' 'em how to swim."


Mikey never felt direct pressure from the White House 'cause he was getting all his marching orders from Deadeye in his bunker.

Remember, ya gotta parse what they say real tightly to separate the wheat from the chaff.

Sestek speaks out speaks out on FISA, and here.

The director of national intelligence is supposed to be nonpolitical, but some lawmakers think the White House used McConnell for partisan purposes. By Greg Miller, Los Angeles Times,August 8, 2007

As the debate over new espionage legislation intensified last week, senior Democrats in Congress gathered around a speakerphone late Thursday to work out with Director of National Intelligence J. Michael McConnell what they thought were the final pieces of a deal.

Instead, the deal unraveled, according to officials involved. Compromise language was missing, provisions that both sides had agreed to strip out were back in, and -- according to officials familiar with the exchange -- McConnell alluded to intense pressure he was getting from "the other side."

McConnell ended up getting the changes he wanted -- new authority that significantly expands U.S. spy agencies' ability to intercept overseas e-mails and phone calls.

But his unusually high-profile role in the negotiations appears to have strained his relationships with key Democrats and has prompted questions about whether the nation's top intelligence official, who is supposed to operate above the political fray, had allowed himself to be used for partisan purposes.

"I think that the admiral negotiated in good faith," said Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D-Texas), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, who was involved in negotiations with McConnell throughout the week. "But I think he got caught up there at the end in the politics of it." link

Shorter Reyes: McConnell wasn't the asshole, someone with influence over him was.

Does Reyes know who applied the pressure? McConnell claims it was not the White House, atleast not "directly".

There were signs Tuesday that some Democrats still regarded McConnell as a trusted figure. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, defended her vote for the Republican version of the spy bill in part by circulating a letter she had received from McConnell describing the ways that the intelligence community would safeguard U.S. citizens' privacy under the new espionage authorities.

Everyone knows that Feinstein's "letter on the side" is a useless assurance that amounts to little more than political cover for her vote. If the DNI really wanted to provide assurances, they would be clearly documented in the legislation.

The guy is the Director of National Intelligence.
You're not gonna get a true answer from the guy.
That's the set-up.

This had Cheney's fingerprints on it from the get-go. Which makes me very concerned about his plans after January, 2009. Don't be surprised to see him angling for the VP slot again, although I think it would be the kiss of death for the GOP ticket. Assuming we have an election.

This latest capitulation on the part of the Dems is REALLY dispiriting. How can they reward Gonzales' lies and taunts with MORE power? It is really hard to go on supporting them. I'm definitely not supporting the DSSC, DCCC or any incumbents. Challengers, and strong ones at that, only.

While everyone's feeling around in the dark...

...Cheney's got night vision goggles.


Well, if we can get enough heat generated about this and other stuff, he might get distracted.

Who said that a spy-in-chief's job is to be liar-in-chief? What sort of master spy or Washington bureaucrat would McConnell be if he admitted he received pressure from Cheney and buckled under to it? Next, you'll expect the president to declare that he's the Decider-in-Chief just so that everybody knows that job is really Cheney's too. Sheeesh.

Pardon the length. A whole lot of stuff that leads me to think McConnell didn't much change what he required, but that House and Senate Democrats took McConnell's August 2 statement and other administration statements (the "soft sell" stuff) as the basis for crafting statutory language.

Or said another way, the administration put it's requirements in the statute (I think McConnell and the WH and OVP have always been in harmony on these details), and then put out some misleading "soft sell" pabulum for diversion.

As to Congressional reliance of Mike McConnell's representations as to what constitutes adequate statutory language, I have three DNI representations. The mid-April 66 page proposed statute, S.1927, and the August 2nd statement. Of the three, the August 2nd statement is a "soft sell" or "watered down" request.

Links to 2 page statement dated August 2nd by Director, DNI, describing shortcomings in existing FISA law (this is the "soft sell" letter I referred to - my mistake to call it a letter)

Exclusive: Bush Nixed Dem-DNI FISA Deal - By Spencer Ackerman
Page 1
Page 2

See in particular the need to fix the issues of warrantless acquisition of "foreign-to-foreign" communications and of limiting the acquisition to "only certain categories of of foreign intelligence."

Links to House debate of August 3rd:

House Pg. H9667 - Aug 3, 2007Hastings, Rogers, Reyes
House Pg. H9673 - Aug 3, 2007Hastings, Harman, Hoekstra, Reyes
House Pg. H9686 - Aug 3, 2007Primary Debate on H.R.3356

[H9688] Mr. NADLER. ... Yesterday, we were told they needed three more things: They needed that we should deal with not just relating to terrorism but to matters relating to our foreign intelligence. It's in this bill. We were told we should eliminate the requirement that the FISA Court adjudicate our recurring communications to the U.S. from foreign targets would be handled. It's in this bill. We were told that we should allow for foreign targets to be added to the basket warrant after the warrant was approved. It's in this bill.

[H9692] Mr. HOYER ... Among other things, this legislation clarifies that no court order is required, as has been said over and over and over again, to intercept and conduct surveillance on foreign-to-foreign communications that pass through the United States. That's a new technological reality, because that switch is here and so we needed to accommodate that.

The Director of National Intelligence discussed that with us. We made a change in the legislation that was proposed to accommodate that, and he was positive with respect to that change. I do not say he supported that change; I say he was positive. ...

Our legislation also compels the cooperation of communications carriers during emergency periods, while it extends liability protection to those who assist in this intelligence-gathering effort. This was a very important provision. We understood that. It is controversial. But we thought it was important. ...

Madam Speaker, we have spent hours with the Director of National Intelligence and worked hard to give him the tools that were requested. The DNI asked that we expand the language in the bill from ``relating to terrorism'' to the much broader ``relating to all foreign intelligence.'' I support that change. I want to make sure that the DNI has a broad reach and view. So that is in this bill.

The DNI asked that we eliminate the requirement that the FISA court adjudicate how recurring communications into the United States from foreign targets would be handled, and we agreed to that change.

[H9695] Mr. TIAHART ... Unfortunately this bill does not address the needs of the intelligence community. The Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell is strongly opposed to this bill: [below blockquote is Mike McConnell's August 3 communication]

I have reviewed the proposal that the House of Representatives is expected to vote on this afternoon to modify the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The House proposal is unacceptable, and I strongly oppose it.

The House proposal would not allow me to carry out my responsibility to provide warning and to protect the Nation, especially in our heightened threat environment.

I urge Members of Congress to support the legislation I provided last evening to modify FISA and to equip our Intelligence Community with the tools we need to protect our Nation.

So, Mike McConnell provided statutory language to the House in the evening of August 2nd, and H.R.3346 was not that statutory language.

Just in the interest of making a more complete set of links in one place, here is the House on August 4th, debating the Senate-passed S.1927. Mr. HOEKSTRA puts the same August 3 communication from Mike McConnell in the Record at page H9963.

House Pg. H9953 - Aug 4, 2007Primary Debate on S.1927

Links to Senate debate on S1.927 and Levin/Rockefeller S.2011. The "Primary debate" includes the full text of Mike McConnell's August 2nd letter - the same letter hosted as a pair of JPG graphic files at talkingpointsmemo.com (links above).

Senate Pg. S10857 - Aug 3, 2007Kyl, McConnell
Senate Pg. S10859 - Aug 3, 2007Bond, Chambliss, Gregg, Hatch
Senate Pg. S10862 - Aug 3, 2007Primary Debate on S.1927

Also on August 3rd, Senator Rockefeller stated:

[S.2011] is the bill of the Director of National Intelligence [referred to when he said,] "I urge Members of Congress to support the legislation I provided last evening to modify FISA and equip our intelligence community with the tools we need to protect our Nation." ...

The Rockefeller-Levin bill is the bill the DNI is referring to in his statement. I am not shy about saying that; I am proud of it. The bill he provided to us last evening--that is our bill, not the other one, our bill--is not the Bond bill that was filed 2 days ago. It is our bill.

Our bill takes the DNI's preferred bill and modifies it in a limited number of ways to make it stronger without in any way diminishing the fundamental intelligence authorities the DNI needs.

The text of S.2011 has not been printed in the Congressional Record. When it does become available, we still won't know the precise contours of "modified in a limited number of ways."

I haven't scoured Senator Levin or Rockefeller's web sites in search of either S.2011 or the EXACT statutory proposal from Mike McConnell on August 2nd.

I'd like to find a transcript of the Bond Mitch (Senator) McConnell presser at about the time S.1927 was offered up. I recall Senator Bond saying thatteh language in S.1927 was not Senate language, but was DNI language.

S.1927 was put on the Congressional Record on August 1st. I can't imagine DNI giving different language to the House one or two days later, given the urgent desire to get something common passed by both bodies before recess.

Text of both H.R.3356 and S.1927

I was going to wait until S.2011 popped up before considering a more detailed comparison, but the difference between competing versions of 105A sure seem as though the DEm version is S.1927 modified to track McConnell's August 2nd statement.

oh, uh a big misundertanding then... nothing to look at here. Move along. It's suspect that none of the reporters nor parties on either side of the issue have recognized it as such.

Senator McConnell said this on the floor of the Senate on August 3rd, and repeated it in this August 3rd press release

This legislation couldn't be more urgent. And while the administration submitted FISA modernization language months ago, the only legislation before us is S. 1927, the McConnell-Bond bill -- a bill specifically requested by the Director of National Intelligence. We know this bill provides our intelligence community with the necessary tools to protect our homeland. We know that if we pass this measure the President will sign it into law. We know we have a duty to pass it today to protect the American people. Why wait?

Here's from a press release of August 1st, the same day S.1927 was formally introduced.

U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and Senator Christopher Bond, Ranking Member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, introduced an updated terrorist surveillance law Wednesday to modernize the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, and called for its passage before Congress adjourns for August recess.

From a Senator Bond press release of August 3rd

The Director of National Intelligence sent a letter on Friday, July 27th, to Congressional leaders requesting Congressional action to fix gaps in FISA before the August recess. Director Michael McConnell's request "would make clear that court orders are not necessary to effectively collect foreign intelligence about foreign targets overseas."

Senator Bond on July 31st

There are several proposals and counteroffers currently being discussed, and I am still examining them all. I can say, however, that I have full faith and confidence in DNI McConnell, and I will not settle for legislation that does not get his stamp of approval. ...

Congress must take action this week. Lives are literally at stake. Congress isn't famous for holding itself accountable for failures. I caution some of my colleagues, however, that if we blow this one, I believe accountability will rightly be unavoidable.

her on May 1st

Today's hearing provided valuable evidence of the need to modernize FISA without delay. Congress must act quickly on the FISA legislation proposed by the Administration.


I'm still looking for a transcript of the televised presser. My memory has Senator Bond saying "This [S.1927] isn't a Senate bill, it's a DNI bill." Maybe the C-SPAN archive has it. (more digging)

PJ - I'm afraid impeachment is the only heat that will distract BushCo, but that won't happen because Bush and Cheney 'militarized' our response to 911 using the AUMF - subordinating our Civil Rights to the Judgment of Bush the Unitary Executive in the Name of National Survival - and Nancy and Harry know it. It's the Big Secret.

The reality of that is only beginning to dawn on us now, but it looks like:

- State-Controlled Media to shape the Narrative of our 'Destiny to Combat Terror'

- Domestic Surveillance - triggered on Suspicion - to identify Ideological 'Enemies', and an

- 'Inner Circle' of Elites 'in the know' who get to act with impunity with respect to the Rule of Law

We're being led to War against an 'enemy' that is not readily Apparent to the Masses - who will be paying for the War, and fighting in it. However, that same 'enemy' is seemingly Obvious to the Elites - who will be making money on the War, but Not fighting in it.

Ideology is the common enemy - to all sides - of Personal Freedom.

When will our Friends on the Right realize that the System of Step-Down/Suck-Up guarantees only degradation and suffering for all? It's a Fool's Loyalty, and a miserable excuse to throw away that which was bequeathed to us by wiser men - who risked everything to secure it to our posterity.

This (August 3) is the presser I have in mind. Senator Bond says (this is a direct quote referring to S.1927), "This is not my bill. This is not a Republican bill. This is an Admiral Mike McConnell bill based on what he sees the intelligence community needs ...." At about 8:50 into the tape.


C-SPAN video Archives at 8/1/2007 - Republican Leaders News Conference

Make that 8/3 Republican Leaders News Conference.

I'm wondering if Mike McConnell's July 27 letter includes a statutory language attachment or something resembling "must have" contents.

Still, the better item would be Mike McConnell's material to Senate Democrats on the evening of August 2nd - the DNI preferred bill that was "modified in a limited number of ways" to produce a Democrat counter-proposal.

Ahh ... Mike McConnell's letter of July 27 did have statutory language attached. Sent to both sides.


I can convert that to text, and likely will add it to the page where I have the text of S.1927 and the HR3358 or whatever it is. I have a feeling what Congress passed is almost verbatim contained in Mike McConnell's July 27 letter.

In large way, it doesn't matter whether it was Cheney or Bush or McConnell who pushed. Once the Dems gave way - they owned it. It is theirs and so are the consequences - which will include making it pretty much impossible to hold anyone accountable, ever, for violations of laws and the Constitution over years and years, in which Democratic party leadership (who scheduled the bills0 was willing to acquiesce.

Done meet Deal.

Telecoms will get their de facto if not de jure amnesty and Dems like Pelosi can keep collecting money and never really get into the awkward soundbites of what she was doing, or not doing, while in the Gang of 8.

Mary that is exactly right and exactly my prime bitch with this since about this time last week. The law can be reset, the tactical damage is literally immense and cannot be recovered. The Dem leaders effectively waived claims of illegality for the various wiretapping violations and ratified the Administration's conduct.

I agree with the DEMs and Congress being pwned on this, my points were that Mike McConnell wasn't so much reneging on a deal, as the DEMs were manufacturing a "deal with McConnell" where there was no such thing, in fact, then using that to support a fantasy of Mike McConnell as a sort of powerless go-between while the WH/OVP pulled his strings.

Oh, and that McConnell provided the raw material for manufacturing the "deal" in various forms. Hoyers comments in the House on August 3 provide some details -- and so does McConnell's August 2 letter.

Democrats have been facilitating the questionable activities of Bush administration and are fully responsible these activities and their results.
I think many democrats does support the idea that federal government needs extra power to fully perform its' functions and achieve its intended goals.

Cbodlt gets it right, then Dems are manufacturing a "we was duped" scenario for cover with the left.

got pander?

"My job is to speak truth to power." Have these authoritarian zealots no shame in their hypocritical use of language? I guess not.

I wonder if the house leadership just assumed we would forget this like we did the torture bill, the habeas bill, and the bankruptcy bill, and all the others that just came and went like bugs on a windshield.


If they did, they're going to be very surprised. These bills (and the votes for them) should all be brought up again, every time one of the yes-men runs for office.

Maybe we need a checklist for them: Excel spreadsheet, columsn for names and bills, put a checkmark if they voted for the bad one or against the good one.

"got pander?"

What happened to Strict Constructionism?

""Thus, for example, Justice Hugo Black argued that the First Amendment's injunction that "Congress shall make no law," should be construed strictly: the term "no law," Black thought, admitted virtually no exceptions."

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

Bold is mine.

obviously the Dem led congress think these searches are "reasonable"

take it up with them and quit falling for the charade that they were duped by the evil thuglicans

For once in your thankfully random appearances here, you have a valid point. I acknowledge the same. However, while the Dem. leadership certainly didn't formally get "duped", the Administration and GOP leadership certainly did not do their country and Constitution very proud either. And in this little kill the Constitution game, it was your guys that were the leaders, so now that you have made your point, which again I fully acknowledge as correct, you can STFU.

"Dem led Congress" hasn't campaigned on the phoney theme of "strict constructionism." A lot of us here grew up Republican and very conservative. It's the thugs in the Republican party who have driven us to vote Democratic.

Maybe McConnell meant that he got pressure from Cheney wearing his Congressional, president of the Senate hat, and not from Cheney wearing his Whitehoue hat.

S.1927 House Vote
DEM 41 181
REP 186 2
TOTALS 227 183
186 Republicans voted YEA 41 Democrats voted YEA.
181 Democrats voted NEY, 2 Republicans voted NEY.

Senate Vote YEAS
Bayh (D-IN), Carper (D-DE), Casey (D-PA), Conrad (D-ND), Feinstein (D-CA), Inouye (D-HI), Klobuchar (D-MN), Landrieu (D-LA), Lieberman (ID-CT), Lincoln (D-AR), McCaskill (D-MO), Mikulski (D-MD), Nelson (D-FL), Nelson (D-NE), Pryor (D-AR), Salazar (D-CO), Webb (D-VA)

Allard (R-CO), Barrasso (R-WY), Bennett (R-UT), Bond (R-MO), Brownback (R-KS), Burr (R-NC), Chambliss (R-GA), Coburn (R-OK), Cochran (R-MS), Coleman (R-MN), Collins (R-ME), Corker (R-TN), Cornyn (R-TX), Craig (R-ID), Crapo (R-ID), DeMint (R-SC), Dole (R-NC), Domenici (R-NM), Ensign (R-NV), Enzi (R-WY), Graham (R-SC), Grassley (R-IA), Hagel (R-NE), Hatch (R-UT), Hutchison (R-TX), Inhofe (R-OK), Isakson (R-GA), Kyl (R-AZ), Martinez (R-FL), McConnell (R-KY), Murkowski (R-AK), Roberts (R-KS), Sessions (R-AL), Shelby (R-AL), Smith (R-OR), Snowe (R-ME), Specter (R-PA), Stevens (R-AK), Sununu (R-NH), Thune (R-SD), Vitter (R-LA), Voinovich (R-OH), Warner (R-VA)

8/1/2007 Introduced in Senate
8/3/2007 Passed/agreed to in Senate: Passed Senate with an amendment by Yea-Nay Vote. 60 - 28. Record Vote Number: 309.
8/4/2007 Passed/agreed to in House: On passage Passed by the Yeas and Nays: 227 - 183 (Roll no. 836).
8/5/2007 Signed by President.
8/5/2007 Became Public Law No: 110-055 [Text, PDF]

It's fair to hold Democratic leaders responsible for their role in passing a bill that removes all co-equal branch oversight of governemnt surveillence of US Citizens communicating outside the country, obliterates the 'probable cause' standard, and vacates the requirement that the government obtain a warrant.

I think voters who are sufficiently disgusted with this legislative resolution to Bush threats about who would be to blame for a terrorist attack in August will remember it when its time to vote.

Who else owns responsibility for this result? The bill was submitted three days before the end of the session by a Republican senator. Count the votes, see who voted for it.Blame the dems who voted yea and hold them accountable but remember that this result would not have been possible if it were not for the republican rubber stamp congress.

Does anyone have news to share about our democratic leaders role in how this bill came to pass?

Neil - It is pretty clear that the Dem leaders had a specific agreement with the WH and the GOP leaders to engineer the convoluted parliamentary process that insured passage of the odious bill, and to do so immediately so they could all leave town.

bmaz, the Dem leadership is not willing to come forward and explain so we're left trying to piece it together from the facts that are public. Did the speaker get a chance to explain yesterday in Portsmouth, New Hamnpshire? I don't hold a grudge when someone fucks up as long as they own it and they fix it.

In some regards, and this is one of them, ours are no better than theirs. There will be no admission by Reid and Pelosi of exactly what they did. It would be a flat out blatant admission that they sold out the Constitution, and there is no way they will do it.

what are the bill numbers for the ones massacio referenced (the torture bill, the habeas bill, and the bankruptcy bill), so we can look up how these people voted?

Neil, these are just the BushCo skits - mostly mysteries and whodunnits - that get put-on for our entertainment during the ride to Crazy Town.

Last week's FISA episode ended in a mobius finger-pointing pose, kind of like synchronized swimming between the Dems and Goopers - a neat twist over the usual 'Goopers jam it down our throats,' don't you think?

None of the call buttons on our seats work and the driver is isolated in a double-locked soundproof booth.

If you're here at TNH, then you're 'looking out the windows' when you're supposed to be watching the Bright Shiny Object Network up front.

That could get you in trouble, young man...

The torture and habeas issues have been handled "in the same bills" -- with habeas being handled more than once, while detainee treatment was handled just once.

Detention, Interrogation and Trial-related bills

  • S.3861 - A bill to facilitate bringing to justice terrorists and other unlawful enemy combatants through full and fair trials by military commissions, and for other purposes [Frist, McConnell, Inhofe]
  • S.3886 - Terrorist Tracking, Identification, and Prosecution Act of 2006 [Frist, McConnell]
  • S.3901 - An original bill to authorize trial by military commission for violations of the law of war, and for other purposes [Warner, McCain]
  • H.R.6054 - Military Commissions Act of 2006 [Hunter]
  • S.3929 - Military Commissions Act of 2006 [McConnell, Frist]
  • S.3930 - Military Commissions Act of 2006 [McConnell, Frist, Warner]
  • S.Amdt.5036 - Military Commissions Act of 2006 [Frist]
  • H.R.6166 - To amend title 10, United States Code, to authorize trial by military commission for violations of the law of war, and for other purposes [Hunter, Sensenbrenner]

S.3930 was passed into law, with the following DEM Aye votes in the Senate: Carper, Landrieu, Lautenberg, Lieberman, Menendez, Nelson (FL), Nelson (NE), Pryor, Rockefeller, Salazar, and Stabenow.

I reviewed the competing "torture" stuff as it was going down. See this recent TNH post for a link to that.

(Some) habeas was "adjusted" once before S.3930, with the rubber meeting the road at Senator Graham's S.Amdt.2524 to S.1042 (National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2006). The Graham-Levin amendment was put toe-to-toe with a Bingaman amendment (S.Amdt.2423). The Graham-Levin amendment was passed 84-14, and was later construed in 180 degree opposite ways (Levin taking it as not stripping jurisdiction, and Graham taking is AS stripping jurisdiction) in various detainee court proceedings. That confusion is part of what prompted the habeas provisions in S.3930. I don't have a more specific breakdown of which amendment (if any) in S.3930, and related vote breakdown.

I can't help on the bankruptcy thing, I didn't follow that closely.

In S.3930, Specter's S.Amdt.5087 would have restored habeas statute to where it was before S.Amdt.2524 and S.1042 were passed.

Specter's S.Amdt.5087 was defeated on a 48-51 vote. Nelson (NE) was the sole Democrat to vote against the amendment.

The detainee treatment (torture) material can't be isolated quite as cleanly. IIRC, Senator Kennedy offered a crappy alternative ... yep, 5088 (defeated 46-53). I watched the detainee treatment debate closely, and it was a farce.

Spoke too soon on not being able to isolate the detainne treatment material -- the vote on Levin S.Amdt.5086 is a fairly focused debate on that subject. One DEM voted against the amendment, Nelson (NE).

The FISA modification has made an appearance in a case where the government (NSA) is defendant. I believe this is the first such appearance.

Government (Defendant) Notice of FISA Amendments [Doc 345], filed on August 8, 2007

The notice is directed to the case of only one of multiple plaintiffs.

Heh heh. Ex Post Facto is a one way boulevard. It always was, but this is still a little startling. I also note that the TSP is now "in-operative". Wonder what the alias of the day is?

Administration rhetoric on whether TSP was operative or inoperative as of January 17, 2007, when the surveillance was submitted to the FISA Court, is near perfect doubletalk, seeing as how the administration chooses to define the term "Terrorist Surveillance Program" on a situational basis.

Press Briefing by Tony Snow - January 17, 2007

What happens is that the program pretty much continues -- the program continues. And the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has put together its guidelines and its rules ...

Q In other words, we now have a new program called --

MR. SNOW: No, you have the same program it operates under, but it's really a matter of your legal authority prior to that. It was presidential order. Now, in this case, the program continues, but it continues under the rules that have been laid out by the court.

I left off an important part of that presser ...

Q Tony -- and also to follow up on that -- so you said the President will not reauthorize the present program?

MR. SNOW: Right.

Q In other words, we now have a new program called -- ...

Well, as you know, that has been my point (other than the one on my head) for some time now. Nothing but a shell game moving "the program" under a different shell constantly; BS as an art form.


what's wrong Bmaz? I guess you don't like hearing the truth

It sucks getting played, and guess what...if Hillary gets elected she will fight to keep thes FISA surveillance guidlines, and Congress will help her. DC is a prime target and they know it.

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